Artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie shows off his work, Line in the Sand – a project in the form of an open studio residency and exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)
Artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie shows off his work, Line in the Sand – a project in the form of an open studio residency and exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Haroon Gunn-Salie’s ’Line in the Sand’ draws on decade of site-specific interventions, artworks

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published May 6, 2021

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Cape Town – The exhibition at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Cape Town-born artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie draws together a decade of site-specific interventions, public artworks, and interdisciplinary collaborations.

During a virtual tour of the exhibition, called Line in the Sand, yesterday evening, Gunn-Salie took audiences through the works, which will be exhibited until May 9.

Gunn-Salie, who is exhibiting past work and new work created while in the atelier space at the museum, said he enjoyed his No Sugar piece.

The piece displays eight chipped coffee cups on a shelf, and Gunn-Salie said he had come across the cups while on breaks in the canteen in the basement as he was having his coffee with cleaning and security staff at the museum.

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

“This is a site-specific intervention. This work was made specially for Line in the Sand. I opened the cupboard and I was like, ‘Wait, why are these cups chipped?', and I was told that when the cups get chipped in the upper echelons in the curators' offices, they get moved down here, they get recycled for our use,” said Gunn-Salie.

“I said that's a problem, that's quite Rhodesian and I walked down to Woolies, replaced the eight chipped cups with the new cups that now no longer can go upstairs. The Woolies cups stay with the workers in the basement. These (chipped) cups are now up on the wall, called No Sugar.”

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Also as part of his exhibition, Gunn-Salie has a stack of copies of the Cape Times he had signed a subscription for at the beginning of the lockdown, which serves as a tribute to his father, Aneez Salie – at the top of the stack he has the Freedom Day edition, printed on April 27, 2021.

Haroon-Salie's work translates community oral histories into artistic interventions and installations.

An artwork dubbed Senzenina depicting the Marikana Massacre. Picture: Ian Landsberg / African News Agency (ANA)

“His multidisciplinary practice utilises a variety of mediums, drawing focus to forms of collaboration in contemporary art based on dialogue and exchange,” the museum said.

“Gunn-Salie completed his BA Honours in sculpture at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2012, where his graduate exhibition titled Witness presented a site-specific body of work focusing on still unresolved issues of forced removals under apartheid.”

Picture: Ian Landsberg / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Times

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